How to Lacquer Walls


Lacquer is a hard finish usually made of shellac. It is a protective finish usually applied over a wood or painted surface. However, if you choose to install a lacquer finish onto your walls and do it properly, you will have long-lasting, vibrant, shiny and bright color texture on your walls. Lacquered walls resembled old-fashioned glazed walls.

Things You'll Need

  • Plaster
  • Sanding pole
  • Masking tape
  • Dropcloths
  • HVLP paint sprayer
  • Lacquer primer
  • Lacquer paint
  • Clear lacquer
  • Fill cracks and divots in the wall with plaster and sand the wall with a pole sander. Prep work is one of the most important steps in painting with lacquer. Lacquer will show any imperfections in the wall as light reflects off the surface. Any waves, dents or divots will show through on the final product.

  • Tape off the surrounding areas that you do not want to paint, using masking tape and dropcloths.

  • Mix lacquer-based primer into your HVLP (high-volume low-pressure) paint sprayer. Follow the data sheet for the primer to determine the nozzle size for the paint sprayer and the amount of paint thinner needed to shoot the lacquer primer onto the wall with a sprayer.

  • Spray one coat of lacquer based primer onto your walls. Hold the sprayer 10 to 12 inches away from the wall and spray perpendicular stripes on the wall. Overlap the stripes by 50 percent. Follow the data sheet instructions supplied with the primer for drying time. While you wait for your primer to dry, clean out the spray gun with paint thinner.

  • Mix lacquer-based paint into your sprayer, change the tip according to the paint's data sheet and dilute the paint to the proper consistency per the data sheet. Apply one coat of paint to the wall in the same manner as you applied the primer. Add a second coat of paint within one hour of the first coat. Allow adequate drying time. Again, while the paint dries, clean out the sprayer with paint thinner.

  • Mix clear lacquer into your sprayer, change the tip according to the lacquer's data sheet and dilute the lacquer to the proper consistency per the data sheet. Apply one coat of lacquer to the wall in the same manner as you applied the paint. Add a second coat of lacquer within one hour of the first coat and then add a third coat of lacquer within one hour of the second coat. Allow adequate drying time before touching or hanging anything on the walls.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use a paintbrush or a paint roller to apply the lacquer, paint or primer. The texture left behind will show in the final product. Also, do not mix types of paint products. For example, do not apply lacquer over latex paint. You must use a primer and paint suitable for lacquer finishes.

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